The construction industry represents a major part of the UK economy, with around 2 million people working in the sector, accounting for 6 per cent of the entire workforce in the UK. Staff are fundamental resources for the industry, and their health and wellbeing is of paramount importance for themselves and their families as well as for their employers and society.
While regulations require health and safety hazards and risks to be prevented and strictly controlled, there are no specific legal requirements for workers’ physical and mental health. Sites are often difficult and demanding environments, and workers are often moving between sites and reluctant to see their doctors.
This results in a higher risk of poor health and wellbeing compared to other sectors, and in the diffusion of common mental health problems, such as anxiety, stress or depression, which are often underestimated but have a huge impact on the sector.
CIRIA’s new project ‘Delivering wellbeing at site level’ will raise awareness of the benefits of tackling this emerging issue and help construction companies enhance the health and wellbeing of the construction workforce.
Funding for this project is well advanced and we shall shortly be appointing an Author Team to write the guidance. If you are interested in funding the project or being considered as a research contractor, please contact Sandra Evans at CIRIA.
Organisations involved include Carillion plc, Gatwick Airport, Multiplex and the National Federation of Demolition Contractors.